Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

I read this book for the Unapologetic Romance Readers' New Years 2017 Reading Challenge. For more info about what this is, click here.

Given my hatred of insta-love, picking up a book that literally has the words "Love at First Sight" in the title was probably unwise. How could I resist, though? You were all losing your shit when this book came out, calling it romantic and cute and feel-good. As much as I enjoy darker romances, we all need a bit of fluff in our lives. There's black forest cake, and then there's froyo with mochi sprinkles. I wanted in. I wanted those mochi sprinkles.

Instead, I got circus peanuts.

THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT has several issues that kept me from enjoying the book. First, the concept of love at first sight. Hadley, our heroine, just happens to meet this guy at an airport because she misses her plane and then just happens to find herself seated next to him. Wait, wasn't there another story where that same exact thing happens? Hmm, what was it called? What was it called...?

Oh yeah. Red-Eye (2005).

Oliver isn't an assassin who's out to kill Hadley's father, though (which is a shame, because that would be a much more interesting story). They are just two teens, angry at the world, angry at their families, and dissatisfied with their middle-class lot in life. Which brings me to the second beef I had with this book. Both characters, but especially Hadley, are extremely unlikable.

Hadley literally spends 90% of the book treating her family like crap. She's en-route to England to go to her father's wedding to another woman, who she refers to as That British Woman. She's mean to her mom, too, her last words being something like, if the plan crashes you'll have lost me and dad. When she gets to the wedding, she acts like a total sour puss and is rude to everyone. Then she skives off early to go crash a funeral...because that's where Oliver was headed. His father's funeral. And when he seems like he's maybe less than happy to see her at his father's funeral, uninvited, her little feelings get hurt. Because she thought they were in love. What the actual eff, Hadley.

The first half of the book is cheesy and annoying, but in the way that Valentine's Day is annoying. You say, "Okay, this is too much, but it's sort of cute. I guess I can see why people like this book." The second half of the book is cheesy and annoying, but in the way that daytime TV shows are annoying. You say, "What the hell is wrong with these people? Do they not have basic human emotions? Why are they fighting over something so stupid? I do not understand." There is a happy ending, but it felt contrived and undeserved. What Hadley and Oliver had, it wasn't love.

Also, just a random note: the author makes a point of Oliver's Britishisms (and of course, Hadley corrects him and anyone else who uses the un-American term for something, even while in England (as if I needed another reason to hate the b*tch)), and yet at one point he calls his father a "lawyer." I couldn't help but think that "barrister" would have been more correct.

1 to 1.5 out of 5 stars

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